Mayor Suzette Cooke joins Cool Bird, the Seattle Thunderbirds’ mascot, in celebrating the announcement that Dick’s Drive-In is coming to Kent’s West Hill on Highway 99. COURTESY PHOTO, Dick’s Drive-In

Newest Dick’s Drive-In coming to Kent

A new Dick’s Drive-In is coming to Kent’s West Hill.

The popular burger chain plans to open its latest drive-in – the company’s seventh – late next year on Pacific Highway, not far from Sea-Tac International Airport. The location was revealed on a live Facebook announcement Thursday morning.

The drive-in is scheduled to open in the fall 2018 on Pacific Highway and South 242nd Street in Kent, just south of Kent-Des Moines Road.

Jim Spady, president of Dick’s Drive-In and the son of the late founder Dick Spady, said the eatery will sit on a vacant lot near the Lowe’s store next to Highway 99.

“The Kent property is in a great location on Highway 99, five miles south of Sea-Tac Airport,” Jim Spady said in a statement. “It’s a half-mile south of the intersection with the Kent-Des Moines highway and very close to Highline College in Des Moines. We look forward to bringing great food and great first-time jobs to the communities of south King County.”

The choice for Kent comes after Dick’s asked voters to decide earlier this year what area they would like the new restaurant to be in – east or south of Seattle. The online poll attracted about 170,000 votes, with the South of Seattle getting 60 percent of the ballots.

Kent beat out other contenders – Auburn, Renton, Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac, Tukwila, Federal Way, West Seattle and Normandy Park – for the restaurant, Spady said.

“I so appreciate the can-do attitude by our economic development staff in addressing Dick’s criteria to invest in Kent,” Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke said in a statement. “What a great example of public and private sectors working together to bring an iconic family business for the public to experience and enjoy.”

Owners said they are still seeking building permits from Kent and hope to break ground later this year or early 2018.

The expansion is the first for the company since the Edmonds location opened in October 2011. Dick’s has five Seattle locations, including the original site that opened in 1954 in the Wallingford neighborhood.

According to the company, plans are for the Kent location to fashion the look of the Seattle outdoor drive-ins.

– The Federal Way Mirror contributed to this story.